A 14-pound 14-ounce spadefish caught on June 13 by Roland E. Murphy of Fredericksburg has been certified as a Virginia state record by the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament.
Murphy caught the record fish while fishing at the Cell with Allan King on his 25-foot private boat Kingfish. The spadefish was tricked into hitting a piece of fresh clam, pinned to a 1/0 Gamakatsu hook, tied to a 30-pound fluorocarbon leader. Murphy was using a Penn Ocean Master rod matched with a Daiwa BG-30 reel spooled with either 40 or 50-pound Power Pro braided line. As Murphy worked the feisty fish to the side of the boat King was able to scoop it into the landing net. The pair immediately recognized the magnitude of the catch, as hand scales suggested the fish would weigh close to 15 pounds! A quick picture of the pair holding the fish was taken by King's wife, Sherry, the fish went in the boat's live-well and the trio headed in to officially weigh the catch. The spadefish measured 25 1/4 inches in total length and had a girth of 26 1/4 inches.
Murphy's catch erases Virginia's only tied state record. Austin Edwards of Powhatan, Va., had set the state record bar at 14 pounds on June 17, 2006 while fishing at the Cell and Mark Ottarson of North, Va., matched that on June 7, 2007 while fishing at Wolf Trap Light.
For more information, contact Lewis Gillingham, Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, 2600 Washington Ave, 3rd Floor, Newport News, VA 23607, (757) 491-5160, firstname.lastname@example.org.